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My little Studio Ghibli wonderland

Posted on: November 6, 2016

I just discovered that Taiwan is a Studio Ghibli wonderland.

Yes, there are some stuff in Taiwan (Jiufen! Jinguashi!) with deep connections to Hayao Miyazaki’s  Spirited Away but I didn’t know Studio Ghibli is popular there. Probably because of historical and cultural ties with Japan, being a former colony in the 1890s.

Anyway, on my way to our Taipei office, I noticed the yellow rental bikes called Ubikes. I didn’t have the nerve to try because 1) I was again so lost–utterly lost; 2) I was not exactly dressed to ride a bike (hello pearls!).


I had to call a colleague to give me directions. Ugh, Mondays.

One of his questions to me was, “Can you tell me where you are right now?” Of course I can’t because there was no visible street sign and I can’t read Chinese.

“But I see Taipei 101…Uhh, that does not help, does it?”


Had lunch with the colleague somewhere near our office. Another beef noodle bowl. HUGE bowl that I couldn’t even finish halfway through.


After lunch, another colleague asked me why I will be going to Jiufen. So I told her I wanted to see the inspiration for the Spirited Away setting.

“Really?! I don’t see the connection!” Then I proceeded to describe to her the scenes and the buildings (the Bathhouse = A-Mei Teahouse). She finally understood (I hope) .

Then she told me about Studio Ghibli having a Taipei tour (with the Catbus! A Catbus!!!)  last September (awww shucks!) so I just missed it by a couple of weeks. But the good thing is there is a Donguri Republic at ATT4  near Taipei 101. She emailed me the directions.

“So what will you do this afternoon?” She asked me.

“I’m going there now. As in now.” I said as I gathered up my things.

It did not disappoint. I spent at least an hour there.


I found the giant Totoro!

The secret entryway to Totoro’s lair

Photos and posters on the way to the toilets

After dawdling at Donguri Republic and loitering around ATT, I met one of the colleagues for dinner at Taipei 101 who felt like eating chicken rice. Right. Chicken rice in Taiwan. But hey, we were both hankering for something Southeast Asian at that time. You can only have so much beef noodle bowls in a week, right?

While waiting for him, I took photos of Taipei at night. So peaceful compared to Manila at this hour (6:30-ish).


And trains don’t get crowded, as in Manila MRT-mandirigma-training level.


I didn’t have anything to do later that night so we decided to go home early. Plus I had to pack up again to go to Ruifang the next day.



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life in business journalism

crazy. exciting. boring to some but hey, you get to understand the world better when you're a business journalist. you learn to be patient with tons of documents, make sense of numbers and charts. all geeky stuff. this is my story, behind the scenes.
November 2016
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